As you may know, I use a Finnish army gas mask bag as a shoulder bag in the woods. I find it convenient to keep smaller, frequently used items there, where they are readily accessible, rather than in my backpack. Previously, I had done two small modifications to this shoulder bag: waxing to make it water resistant and the addition of padding on the shoulder strap to make it more comfortable. Last weekend, I did another small modification to this bag to make it more useful: I added two straps to the underside for carrying my rain poncho externally.
While the rain poncho fits just fine inside the shoulder bag with all the other contents, it doesn’t leave much room for additional things. Attaching the rain poncho to the outside allows me to easily fit a day’s worth of food inside (which is usually the only thing I need to bring that’s not already included in the kit). It also frees up extra room for my knife, so I can keep it there if I am in a public place where wearing my knife on my belt would be a bit weird.
I started by cutting two German military surplus straps to size (I don’t remember what the original purpose of these straps was. Attachment straps for a sleeping bag, maybe?). I then melted wax and soaked the ends of the straps with the wax to prevent fraying and to stiffen them up a bit. The final step was to sew them on. I reinforced the front and back stitch lines several times for added strength. Hopefully the thick military-grade thread I used will be strong enough. If this proves not to be the case, I will reinforce the stitching with some type of extra-strong thread. I’ll keep an eye on it to see how it holds up.